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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  November 26, 2013 2:00am-4:01am EST

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discourage anybody in the world from taking any steps that would undermine this agreement. we will make it very clear. >> mr. jack straw. secretary for the honorable friend on the bench. may i specified the great appreciation to the secretary for the effort that he has put into this. iranians are among the toughest negotiators and extract every last ounce may i say that i hope that he accepts the momentum being kept up. the agreements that we have made
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between 2000 and three and 2006 were not only the difficulties in toronto but a packed was developed between the hardliners and the hardliners in washington who fed off of each other and ended up in the situation. that ended up with president khatami being replaced by president ahmadinejad. the united states helped to produce that situation. lastly, may i ask a question that follows on from the previous question? will the foreign secretary make it clear to the americans that if prime minister netanyahu's efforts at the united states congress prevent president obama from continuing with the negotiations, the uk, germany, france and the eu will have to detach themselves from america and reach their own conclusions, along with other members of the p5? >> i am grateful for the right honorable gentleman's remarks
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and i agree very much about the importance of maintaining momentum. it was possible to see that even over the past two weeks. the 10-day gap between the negotiations that took place two weeks ago and those this weekend brought forth a great deal of criticism in iran, in the us congress and elsewhere in the world that could easily have fatally complicated the efforts to reach agreement. considering the months of work that need to go into the implementation of this agreement and into attaining a comprehensive and final agreement, it is vital to maintain the momentum all the way. the agreements that the united states has made can all be implemented by executive order. that does not mean that the debates in congress are over. what happens in the us congress
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is up to the united states. however, the right honorable gentleman can be assured that the united states administration are extremely strongly committed to this process. the leadership and persistence of secretary kerry were crucial in bringing about the agreement and the clarity of president obama on the matter is clear. i do not think that we need, at this point, to start looking at the other scenarios that the right honorable gentleman brought in of acting separately from the united states. >> order. i am afraid that we have got through only two questions in five minutes, which by normal standards would be very slow. we need to speed up. we will be led in that important exercise by an immediate past minister of great experience and versatility. >> the wealth of detail that has been offered by my right honorable friend the foreign secretary indicates that this is no casual agreement, but one that has been carefully thought through. i pay tribute to his persistence and that of cathy ashton in holding the p5 plus 1 together. does he agree that for israel to
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be assured, every dot and comma of the interim agreement must be held to, that for the arab world to be reassured, we must make serious progress on a weapons- of-mass-destruction-free zone in the middle east, and that for the world to be reassured, the iranians must stop their murderous activities in syria immediately and contribute to an end to that conflict as quickly as possible? >> absolutely. on a day of tributes -- we must not have too many tributes because i think there are many troubles ahead -- i pay tribute to work done by my right honorable friend on these issues in the foreign office over the past three and half years. he is right about all those things. this wealth of detail, as he put it, must be implemented in detail. it will also be helpful in the debates that take place in this country and the world over the next few days for that wealth of detail to be examined in detail by everybody who comments on it, and i hope they will take the trouble to do that. the extent to which the
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agreement means a change in any of iran's other policies, such as that on syria, remains to be determined. of course, we also encourage iran to play a more responsible role more broadly in world affairs. >> the european union, the government and the united states are to be congratulated on this brave and bold step towards reducing tension in the middle east. would it be right for the government now to approach israel and ask for a reciprocal gesture and for it to open its nuclear facilities to international inspection, in order to denuclearise the whole middle east? >> politics is the art of the possible, as i think we all know in this house, and it has turned out that this agreement is possible. the honorable gentleman is trying to lead me into something that it would probably not be possible for us to obtain. >> does my right honorable
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friend agree that it is a most welcome moment for a world that has grown weary of conflict to see the great achievements of diplomacy and engagement? does he agree that a full and comprehensive agreement would not be possible without a proper interim agreement of this type, and that the key to confidence in the future will be verification and inspection? >> i absolutely agree with my right honorable friend. it is vital to build trust and confidence in the habit of working together to get to a comprehensive agreement. it is also vital to have time to create that comprehensive agreement. time was running short for any agreement, given what was happening in iran's nuclear program, so for all those reasons, this is an essential step on the way to a comprehensive agreement. anyone who fancies that, alternatively, we could have just jumped to a comprehensive agreement, needs to revise that judgment. >> i warmly congratulate the
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foreign secretary on his role in this, but may i urge him to be a bit more effusive in his praise for baroness ashton for the simple reason that i think the agreement shows that where the european union can combine, it can achieve far more than individual countries working on their own? >> i am never lacking in effusion for the role of baroness ashton. she has handled things brilliantly, particularly in creating confidence between the iranian negotiators and the e3 plus 3 team. over the past three and a half years i dare say that i have praised her and worked with her a great deal more than the honorable gentleman has experience of doing. >> we have the very unusual
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scenario of saudi arabia and israel agreeing with each other in publicly criticising the agreement. that is understandable -- elements in both countries believe they have an existential fight on their hands that will get only tougher with a more confident iran. does the foreign secretary agree that we have a duty of care to those allies, and that there is a long way to go in persuading them that the agreement is in their best interests? >> yes, we do have a duty to understand those concerns. as i said, given past history on this matter we should never be surprised that some people are sceptical about the agreement, and we should understand those concerns. it is therefore incumbent on us to explain the detail and say how we will keep up this work, and to maintain the confidence of as many nations as possible in this work.
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that will include discussing the issue in detail and extensively with both countries mentioned by my right honorable friend. >> i congratulate the right honorable gentleman, my right honorable friend the member for paisley and renfrewshire south mr. alexander), secretary kerry, and all others involved on achieving this exceptionally important agreement. it must be hoped that not only will it lead to iran re-entering the international community, but that it will ameliorate oppressive aspects of its internal policies. will the right honorable gentleman point out to the prime minister of israel, who yesterday said that nuclear weapons are the most dangerous weapons in the world -- he should know because he has a stockpile of several hundred nuclear warheads and the missiles with which to deliver them -- and who in addition refuses to sign the nuclear non- proliferation treaty, that any attempt to damage or attack the
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agreement in any way will be unacceptable and will be opposed? >> as i have said, we would strongly discourage any country from seeking to undermine the agreement, but i have not seen any sign that any country will do so in any practical way. every country in the world understands how serious that would be. some may disapprove of the agreement, but they know it has been made by, among others, the five permanent members of the un security council, and that it must be given its chance. i believe it will be given its chance. >> does my right honorable friend agree with mark fitzpatrick, a nuclear proliferation expert at the international institute for strategic studies, who has often backed what israel has had to say about iran, and who has concluded that: "seeking to undermine the deal would bring benefit to no party
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except those who prefer war"? >> yes, i heard some of mark fitzpatrick's comments yesterday in the media. i thought they were well informed and balanced in coming to the conclusion that it was a good deal. he did so on the basis of the analysis carried out in the iiss. anyone who goes through the detailed examples i have given to the house and who sees the range of activities of the iranian nuclear program that are covered, how specifically they are covered, and the importance attached in the agreement to obtaining a comprehensive agreement, will be very reassured. >> those who mocked lady ashton's appointment -- they certainly do not include the foreign secretary -- may wish to apologise accordingly. is there not a kind of unholy alliance, certainly including israel, but also including saudi
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arabia and possibly elements within the iranian regime, that would want to undermine or destroy the agreement? should we not be very much on our guard against that? >> we will be on our guard against any attempt to undermine the agreement, but it has the backing of the us government, russia, china, france and britain -- the five permanent members of the security council and it has clearly received widespread support around the world. therefore, as i have said, we would discourage anyone from undermining it, but i believe the world will give the agreement the chance to succeed. >> my right honorable friend is right to be cautious if not sceptical. to persuade us of the genuineness of iran's intentions, would it not help if it were to end its involvement in terrorism in that region of the world, including in syria,
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as my right honorable friend the member for north east bedfordshire -- alistair burt -- has rightly said, and end its involvement in the repression of religious minorities, including christians and jewish people, in iran? would it also not help if iran stopped the hate speech against israel, a recent example of which came from the supreme leader, who just a few days ago referred to israel as "the sinister, unclean rabid dog of the region"? that seems to have escaped the attention of the right honorable and learned member for north east fife -- sir menzies campbell). >> i agree on the importance of those issues and of iran changing its approach to them. clearly, the negotiations were solely on the nuclear program. it is right that they were, because in order to make progress, we must focus exclusively on that. however, in our wider discussions with iran, which have become possible with the upgrading of our diplomatic relations that i have announced, we will want to address the full range of issues, including the sponsorship of terrorism in other countries and the hate speech to which my honorable friend refers. we will go on to discuss those other issues with iran.
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>> i congratulate the foreign secretary and all those engaged in the negotiations, not least the iranians, on this major step forward in international diplomacy, and indeed thank them for it. however, to reiterate the comments of the right honorable member for north east bedfordshire -- alistair burt), is now the time to urge iran to do everything in her power to bring an end to the desperate civil war in syria? there are millions of refugees, and we have learned today that 11,000 children have been deliberately killed in syria, some at the hands of torturers. >> it is time to do that. it is too early to say whether the agreement on iran's nuclear program foreshadows any other changes in its foreign policy. we would of course like to see such changes, particularly in relation to syria. we, with other countries, have worked hard to assemble the geneva 2 peace conference and in the past two hours, the date of the conference has been announced, and it will take place on 22 january. i urge iran to play a constructive and helpful role in the peace process. >> following on from the
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excellent question by my right honorable friend the member for mid sussex -- nicholas soames -- on verification and inspection, does the foreign secretary agree that the iaea will need more resources to ensure that the interim agreement is fulfilled? >> the iaea will need to devote more resources to this from within its budget. on page two of the agreement, there is a long list of additional things it will be expected to do, including agreement on the safeguards approach from the reactor in iraq, daily inspector access for various purposes, managed access to centrifuge assembly workshops and so on. the iaea has applied itself
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extremely well in trying to deal with iran's nuclear program in recent years, and it will be well up to those tasks. >> i welcome the agreement, but given iran's history of concealment will the foreign secretary say more on the monitoring and verification process, and the oversight of that process by the international community? >> that is an important point, which links to the previous question. i was giving examples of some of the additional iaea inspection
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work that will result from the agreement. in addition, a joint commission will be formed from the e3 plus 3 countries and iran to work on implementing and monitoring the deal. that means that there will be constant discussion between the e3 plus 3 countries and iran, which will require the iranians to respond to any concerns we have about inspection and verification. this is a big step forward in inspection, including intrusive inspection and verification, and we must keep up our determination to do that. >> over the years, several thousand iranian students have studied in the uk, with many paying full fees, renting properties and spending very large sums of money while resident here. will the foreign secretary clarify what consideration he has given to lifting the sanctions that prevent their families and sponsors from transferring money into the uk during their stay? will he at least consider
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nominating a single bank in the uk as a conduit for student support, much as the united states has done during the whole period of its sanctions against iran? >> i will look at those points as part of the step-by-step upgrading of our bilateral relations. it is possible that in some cases students could benefit from the new authorisation rules in the european union that i mentioned. while iran cannot operate the embassy with iranian staff, we are considering it being able to increase the number of locally engaged staff who can help with such issues. there may be things that help people in that situation, but i will look at the issue in more detail. >> i thank the foreign secretary for his statement and draw his attention to what he said about momentum in the process in the region. i obviously hope that a detailed agreement is reached within six months. will he now turn his attention to the need for a nuclear weapons-free middle east, and the importance of reconstituting
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the conference, which finland was supposed to have held, involving all countries in the region? without an agreement on a nuclear-free middle east, somebody will develop nuclear weapons or israel will go on being unchallenged as the only nuclear weapons state in the region. this is urgent. >> as the honorable gentleman knows, we are keeping our focus on that. i pay tribute to him for keeping his focus -- relentlessly -- in his questions in parliament, but we are also keeping our focus and continuing our work to bring the conference together. if we can carry our success on this agreement through to the success of a comprehensive and final settlement, it will be a big advance towards what he has been campaigning for and remove more of the excuses of other nations against such discussions. i think, therefore, that he can view this as a step forward in that regard. >> many people regard iran as the soviet union of the middle east, because it practises
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repression at home, it exports terrorism abroad and it says it wants to wipe israel off the map. how will my right honorable friend judge whether this is genuine perestroika and glasnost or whether it is deception by iran, and what steps can he take to ensure that over the six months it not only stops work on nuclear enrichment, but stops supporting hamas, hezbollah and the assad regime? >> my honorable friend raises a wide range of wholly legitimate issues. we have many differences with iran, including on many of those issues and on its appalling human rights record. this agreement does not make any of those differences go away. i do not want to mislead the house. the agreement does not mean there is necessarily a change in its other policies, but it must be judged on its own merits and on whether it is operated in good faith and succeeds in dealing with the nuclear issue.
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of course, however, we will use the opportunity for dialogue with iran to raise the sorts of issues he describes. >> i join others in congratulating the foreign secretary and my right honorable friend the member for blackburn mr. straw -- on all their work. the foreign secretary previously announced the appointment of ajay sharma as the chargé d'affaires in tehran, but our embassy remains closed. bearing in mind the 81,000 british iranians resident in this country who wish to see their relatives, what progress can be made to ensure the embassy is opened as quickly as possible? >> we will take a step-by-step approach. ajay sharma, who, as the right honorable gentleman says, is the
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new non-resident chargé d'affaires, has been closely involved in the talks and will visit iran shortly. if visits in both directions by officials go well, we will contemplate other steps that could lead ultimately to the reopening of embassies, but i judge it better to take a step- by-step approach. in a different way from the nuclear program, that, too, requires the building up of trust, confidence and, above all, clarity that a reopened embassy could operate properly and with all the normal functions of an embassy. we would have to get clarity from the iranians on that before we could reopen an embassy, so we will continue to take a step- by-step approach. >> given that syria and iran are joined at the hip, is it not
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clear that no such agreement would have been reached had the plan for an anglo-american military attack on syria gone ahead? so while we are busy conferring praise on governments past and present, can we at least have a pat on the back for parliament for its role in preventing such an ill-considered move? >> i always want to pat parliament on the back, even when i disagree with it, but i do not agree with my honorable friend's analysis. i agree -- not with him, but with others -- that the contemplation by the united states of military action produced a very important breakthrough on the dismantling of syria's chemical weapons. >> i congratulate the foreign secretary, alongside baroness ashton and secretary of state kerry, on his role in this
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matter. does the agreement not show the effectiveness of united, co- ordinated eu action, just as the agreement did on normalisation between serbia and kosovo, which was also brought about by the efforts of baroness ashton seven months ago? does he agree that we need effective co-operation between eu partners to get results? >> i do not regard it as a revolutionary thing to say that
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it is desirable to have good co- operation between european nations in foreign policy. indeed, that often helps to produce results. the scale and effectiveness of eu sanctions, agreed by all eu countries, has made a big difference on this issue. it is important to add, though this is something of a qualification to the honorable gentleman's question -- that here the work with the united states has been absolutely indispensable. such an agreement cannot be made without the united states. indeed, the assistance of russia and china has been important, too. so this is something that includes european unity, but goes beyond that, which is why it is so powerful. +it is so powerful. >> order. the honorable member for gainsborough -- sir edward leigh was sighing loudly from his seat, he may now speak forcefully on his feet. >> how can we trust the iranians a terrorist regime that poses a grave danger to the arab world and to israel and has a long history of lying and duplicity? this is from their own chief nuclear negotiator:
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"while we were talking to the europeans in tehran, we were installing equipments in parts of the nuclear conversion facility in isfahan... by creating a calm environment...we were able to complete." so now they keep their centrifuges, they go on enriching uranium by up to 5%, and they pocket £7 billion. what is to stop them doing a north korea and holding us to more blackmail in six months' time? >> my honorable friend asks how we can trust people with whom we have many differences -- we certainly have them -- and who have concealed aspects of their program in the past. the answer is that this agreement is so specific and so extensive that we will soon be able to see whether they can be trusted or not. we will all be able to judge whether these commitments are being entered into or not. if we are to take the approach that, whatever we agree, the iranians cannot be trusted to
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deliver it, we can, of course, never have an agreement on this issue. that would not even allow us to test whether an agreement could be made and implemented. that would be a disastrous course to embark upon. >> these welcome developments are due in no small part to the election of the moderate president hassan rouhani of iran, who stood on a platform of improving relations with the west and achieved a landslide victory. considering that he had been in post only for a few weeks when we had a debate on the proposed military attack on syria in august, does the foreign secretary think that military action by the west in syria would have strengthened his position with the iranian president or destabilised it? >> this is a similar question to the one from my honorable friend the member for new forest east dr lewis). it is, of course, a hypothetical question, because such action did not take place. the debate about such action
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did, however, produce a change of policy by russia and the assad regime, and we are now seeing the dismantling of syria's chemical warfare program. it is idle to speculate what might have happened in many different scenarios. relations with iran on this issue should be viewed on their own merits and on their own terms, and they are not necessarily related to iran's other policies and to its involvement in, or opinion about, syria. we should be careful about making those linkages. >> iran's enrichment program has cast a terrible shadow over the middle east and beyond for over a decade, so i very much welcome this landmark agreement -- even if it is only for an interim period. i know that my right honorable friend hoped to be here to make this statement last week, and its being made today is a tribute to his determination to see this through. can he confirm that the iaea will have full and free access to all iran's nuclear facilities, so that iran's commitment to the agreement can be properly measured? >> i am grateful to my honorable
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friend for what he has said. to give him a flavour of what is in the agreement on this, it requires the "provision of specified information to the iaea, including information on iran's plans for nuclear facilities, a description of each building on each nuclear site, a description of the scale of operations for each location engaged in nuclear activities, information on uranium mines and mills, and information on source material" all to be produced "within three months of the adoption of these measures." if the agreement is implemented in good faith, it will involve the provision of a lot more openness and information to the iaea. >> at the risk of sounding like the ugly fairy godmother at the christening -- [honorable members -- "never!] -- may i ask the foreign secretary to tell us what discussions would take place if the reintroduction of sanctions were required, and how speedily does he think that could proceed? >> that is a perfectly legitimate question. we are talking about either sanctions that will be suspended not lifted or abolished -- or
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about the unfreezing of a specified amount of frozen assets on a one-off basis. the sanctions relief that is being offered to iran can easily be reversed if it does not abide by the commitments into which it has entered. >> of course we thank the foreign secretary and his security council and european union colleagues for a very successful agreement, but we are mindful that the proof of iran's sincerity lies in an inspection and verification in the next six months. does he think that, while that is proceeding, iran might be encouraged to participate in the other conversations in the middle east that must happen -- the discussions on syria that he has announced will take place in january, and discussions on other issues further down the track relating to israel and palestine? >> i hope so. there have been several questions about that topic. as i have said, it is too early to conclude from this agreement that other aspects of iranian foreign policy will change, but of course we should like that to happen. i have said to foreign minister
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zarif that if iran -- along with nearly all the rest of the world were to accept last year's geneva communiqué on syria as the basis for future discussions on the subject, many countries would be much more open to its involvement in those discussions. that is up to the iranians, and i hope that they will respond positively to such suggestions. >> i warmly welcome this breakthrough. the foreign secretary has referred to iran's appalling human rights record and to the prospect of future bilateral discussions about it.
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what prospect does he see of some movement on issues such as the iranian government's practice of imprisoning church pastors? >> i think that we all hope that there will be movement on those issues, irrespective of anything relating to the nuclear issue. the right honorable gentleman gives just one example of a truly appalling human rights record. of course we will wish to discuss human rights with iran as part of our bilateral discussions, and we will impress on the iranians not only the importance, in our opinion, of universal human rights, but the positive impression that they would make on the world if they were to deal with those issues as well. let me stress again, however, that it is much too early to say that we can read from this agreement a change in iranian policy on other matters. >> may i add my support for the agreement? given how long it has taken to reach to this very limited stage
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of progress and given that the track record of the iranian regime makes constructive dialogue with it so difficult, does my right honorable friend agree that it would be perverse to turn our backs on this agreement and that the operative phrase in his statement is "if iran implements the deal in good faith"? how confident is he that iran will implement it in good faith? >> i am grateful for my honorable friend's support and for his wise words. only iran can determine whether it implements the deal in good faith, but i will say that, on the basis of our dealings with foreign minister zarif -- who has conducted all the negotiations from the iranian side -- i believe in his sincerity about reaching the
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deal and about implementing it. i hope that he will continue to have the necessary support in iran -- where there is, to put it mildly, a quite opaque and complex power structure -- to ensure that the agreement is fully implemented. >> the secretary of state talked about the need for iran to operate in good faith, but that is not what we have seen from iran in recent decades. is there a plan for action in six months' time if we find that it has not operated in good faith and has not complied with this interim agreement? >> in that eventuality, we would not be able to renew the agreement. as i pointed out earlier, all the sanctions relief that we have signed up to here is reversible or is one-off, so it would not be repeated if iran does not implement this agreement, but i think the iranians have a clear understanding of that and that is part of the pressure on them to make sure that they do it. >> i congratulate my right honorable friend on his ability to function without sleep, seemingly.
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one of the issues is the interpretation of any agreement that has been reached. the interpretation that seems to be coming out of iran is that the world has accepted its right to enrich uranium and to retain all the facilities that could enrich uranium if the agreement falls apart. what can my right honorable friend say to the house and the world about iran sticking to what we believe has been agreed? >> i am grateful to my honorable friend for his remarks, but all of us who were in the house in the 1990s, before the procedures of the house were changed, are entirely used to functioning without sleep, including speaking without sleep. just to be clear, this is not a recognition of the right to enrich, which we do not believe exists under the non- proliferation treaty. the agreement envisages that if we agree a comprehensive solution, that would enable iran to enjoy its basic rights of
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nuclear energy for peaceful purposes, with a mutually defined enrichment program limited to practical needs, but to get to that point, iran needs to implement all the detailed measures -- there is more detail than i have been able to give the house in the statement -- that i described earlier. >> as the person who had the interesting privilege of being the first british minister to visit iran after a 21-year gap following its 1979 revolution, may i both warmly welcome the progress made by the foreign secretary, baroness ashton and everyone else who has been responsible for the advances that have been made leading to this agreement, but at the same time echo the concerns expressed by my right honorable friend the
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member for blackburn -- mr. straw -- about the risks of agreement being frustrated by those both in iran and elsewhere who do not want this to lead on to a more permanent agreement? remembering the frustration of the hopes that were placed at that time in the khatami presidency opening the door for greater understanding, may i urge the foreign secretary and all concerned to do everything possible over the next six months to not let this opportunity drift out of our reach? >> yes, absolutely, i am fully conscious, as are the government and our allies, of the importance of that. that is one of the reasons why it has been important to respond quickly to iran's readiness to make such an agreement -- so people in iran can see that it is possible to make an agreement, that there are compromises that can be made and that it is in the interests of everyone, including the people of iran, to do so. showing that quickly gives the opportunity to those in iran who want to be able to carry that on for the future.
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>> may i congratulate my right honorable friend on all the hard work and effort he and the other p5 plus 1 nations have put into getting this interim agreement, often in the face of vested- interest opposition both here and in iran? of course, as many colleagues have mentioned, verification and inspection will be the best way to put aside those who oppose this deal. when president rouhani was part of the nuclear negotiation teams in the past, he was instrumental in getting iran to sign up to, or commit to, the additional protocol of the nuclear proliferation treaty. was that discussed and should we seek that in future, because surely the best way to achieve this is through international law and un verification? >> of course we would want iran to observe the additional protocol. this is an issue that will have
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to be addressed in the discussions on a comprehensive agreement, and my honorable friend will be aware from his knowledge of iran that iran's ratification and observance of the additional protocol would be dependent on the majlis. it would have to have a vote about that, in the iranian system. that could introduce an additional complexity, but it is something we would certainly want it to do. >> we welcome this agreement, although it is a first step in a long process. i remind the foreign secretary that president obama and the american congress postponed a decision as a result of this parliament stopping the foreign secretary and the americans having an attack on iran. more importantly, if it is sufficient to sit down with the iranians to discuss what is a very serious issue, why are we not facilitating talks on syria? are we going to wait another six months, allowing that carnage to
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go on? >> the debates that we had, whatever side people were on, about military action in august were about military action relating to syria, not iran. it is very much part of our policy, as the honorable gentleman knows, to promote a political solution in syria, including supporting a peace conference on syria, and i hosted the friends of syria core group in london last month to agree our approach to that. i met the syrian opposition in istanbul last week to encourage their participation in a peace conference, that has now been announced for 22 january. of course, we will do everything that we can to bring about progress in finding a peaceful solution on syria, just as we have on the iranian nuclear program. >> i apologise, mr. speaker, for missing the first few moments of the foreign secretary's statement -- >> well, that is a very, very significant admission.
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on this occasion -- honesty should be rewarded, as somebody is kindly suggesting. but i must say to the right honorable gentleman that, notwithstanding his immense distinction, i am afraid that it will not be allowed again. on this occasion, we will let him, he has been very candid. >> i am most grateful, mr. speaker. given the question that i am about to put, i thought that transparency was the better decision. this will all depend on the transparency of the monitoring and verification processes, and how much trust can be placed in efforts to remove the drivers of instability to gain greater security -- an issue that is wider than just the nuclear issue. can the foreign secretary comment on the expectations? >> if everyone involved is as honest and transparent as my right honorable friend, there
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will be no problem in the implementation of this agreement, and i would strongly encourage that. of course, in addition to all this inspection, all the monitoring and the joint commission, in the end any agreement is going to require good faith and commitment from the other side, and that has to come from political will. so we will do everything that we can to make sure that there is rigorous inspection, but it will only work if there is a real commitment from iran as well. >> my right honorable friend has spoken about the appointment of a new british chargé d'affaires to tehran, but an iranian government mob smashed up the british embassy only a relatively short time ago and did millions of pounds-worth of damage which, under the geneva diplomatic protocols, they now owe in compensation to the british taxpayer. is any progress being made with iran in securing that compensation before diplomatic progress is made?
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>> this is a good question. indeed, the united kingdom should be entitled -- is entitled -- to compensation for the damage done, and compensation will be one of the issues that we need to discuss in this step-by-step upgrading of diplomatic relations. as i mentioned earlier, the most important consideration will be whether an embassy is allowed to operate with all the normal functions of an embassy, but we will address compensation as well. >> back in 1994, an agreement was signed to curtail the development of nuclear weapon capacity in north korea. at the time, president clinton stated that the agreement "will make the united states, the korean peninsula and the world safer." we all know how that ended, so how confident is the foreign secretary that history will not repeat itself and, on this occasion, the monitoring of the agreement will be sufficient to ensure transparency in the process? >> the provision for monitoring, as my honorable friend can gather, is very extensive and very detailed -- to a much greater degree than on any comparable agreement made in the past.
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how confident can we be that all these things will be abided by? time will tell. i have spoken about the sincerity, i believe, of the iranian negotiators, but implementing this is another matter. our confidence must be based on what actually happens. i would only say, as i said earlier, that the provisions are sufficiently detailed about a sufficient range of sites and activities in iran that we will be able to see whether confidence is justified or not. >> i commend the foreign secretary's role in the negotiations, but does he agree that the concession to the iranians on uranium enrichment in this deal is quite remarkable, given that all previous united nations resolutions have explicitly stated that iran should stop all
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such enrichment at its plants? >> it is true that this is different from past un security council resolutions, although it is also true that it would not be possible to reach any agreement with iran without this aspect to such an agreement. it is also true that this will go along with the other parts of the preamble to the agreement, which talks about the transparency measures, and that iran has reaffirmed that in no circumstances will it ever seek or develop any nuclear weapons. when the world can be satisfied with that last sentence, it will be possible to make an agreement on the enrichment provisions of which i spoke earlier. >> many of my constituents are concerned about the vagueness of the deal in relation to addressing further uranium enrichment. what reassurance can the secretary of state give us, particularly when president
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rouhani has stated: "no matter what interpretations are given, iran's right to enrichment has been recognised"? >> i mentioned earlier the interpretation of the so-called right to enrich. the e3 plus 3 countries do not recognise a right to enrich, but we have referred to enrichment in the way that i read out earlier. i can assure my honorable friend that there is nothing vague about the agreement. it includes these words, at the bottom of page 1: "iran announces that it will not enrich uranium over 5% for the duration of the 6 months." the agreement goes on to make other detailed provisions. >> i welcome the foreign secretary's personal commitment
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to securing the interim agreement that was arranged over the weekend. i am also pleased to hear that any sanctions relief will be phased. will he confirm that any release of oil revenues held in frozen foreign bank accounts will happen only if iran lives up to the commitments that it made at the weekend, month in, month out, and to its ongoing commitment to a comprehensive agreement? >> yes, absolutely. this will happen on a phased basis over a six-month period, and as i mentioned, it involves the release of frozen assets on a one-off basis. that can therefore be stopped at any time, so it will be important for all sides to see that iran is really fulfilling the agreement for confidence to be maintained. the position is therefore as my honorable friend has set out. >> "past actions best predict future actions, and iran has defied the united nations security council... simply put
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iran has not earned the right to have the benefit of the doubt." those are not my words, but those of the canadian foreign minister yesterday following the announcement of this deal. there is no doubting the foreign secretary's commitment to the agreement, but many of our closest allies and friends in the region and elsewhere are deeply concerned about it. over the next six months, will he commit to working with those allies and friends, so that their views on the final deal can be taken into account? >> yes, absolutely. my honorable friend makes an entirely fair point about the need to work with other countries, including some whose scepticism about such agreements we should understand, given iran's past record. it is important to understand their natural scepticism, but it
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is also important to think about what on earth the alternatives to reaching a workable agreement would be. my judgment is that this is a good enough agreement, because the alternatives could involve iran developing a nuclear weapons capability, or getting to the threshold of that, in the not-too-distant future, or a conflict with iran. we will, however, work with other countries and reassure them along the way. >> is it not the case that iran is the biggest and nastiest bully in the middle east playground and that despite having been kept after class to complete its lines, it has failed to do so and yet has been given its catapult back? if i am wrong, can the foreign secretary confirm to the house that, as a result of this agreement, iran is not in a position to complete a nuclear weapon? >> yes, that is right, all the aspects of the iranian program that i have listed are stopped from going forward over this six-month period, and some of them, as i have set out, are rolled back. the comprehensive agreement that
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we are seeking after this first step will make it clear that, as i was just quoting, in no circumstances will iran ever seek or develop any nuclear weapons. so this is not so much a case of giving the iranians the catapult back as of ensuring that they will never have a catapult. >> the election of president rouhani last summer, not least its landslide nature, came as a surprise to many people. i believe firmly that it happened because he was the only candidate to say that the direction of iran had to change because the sanctions were so crippling. with that in mind, may i urge my right honorable friend the foreign secretary to outline to the house the efforts that will be gone through to tighten the grip of sanctions if iran does not stick to its side of the deal, rather than looking at military options? >> i have no doubt that if iran does not stick to its side of
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the deal, first, the limited sanctions relief of which i have spoken, which comes from the suspension of sanctions and one- off unfreezing of assets, would certainly come to an end. i have also no doubt that, in those circumstances of a breakdown of an agreement that we and our partners have entered into in good faith, there would be very strong pressure for an increase in sanctions on iran. that is what iran would have to expect in those circumstances. >> on a point of order, mr. speaker. >> 7:00 a.m. eastern on c-span
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two. you will find all of our programs on our library. >> every weekend since 1998 thomas we have brought you the top authors, including hannah rosen. not like it and may find it disturbing and unnatural. ,hen i look at marissa mayer who was chosen to be the ceo of yahoo! when she was visibly pregnant and was asked about how much maternity leave you want to take. she said none. exist,t that such women that is not the way i would do it. i feel like that is a growing number and a kind of woman that there is space for. the fact that there are stay-at- home dads who are happy stay-at-
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ok. dad's eyes -- is >> the only network dedicated to nonfiction books. >> the senate voted to change the filibuster rules for traditional nominees. >> good afternoon. today we will welcome david baron. he was nominated for the court of appeals. and, i would hope to include the nominees for the judicial
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district of arizona. we have not yet received the blue slips from the arizona senator. so, once they return the blue slips, we can include them. before we start the hearing, one of my heroes is here. onn paul stevens is here behalf of mr. baron. he is a former law clerk and if we were a couple of minutes late, it is because justice stevens and i had to get caught up and see each other to tell tales. it is always great to see you. thank you for being here. do you wish to say something? >> no. do you have a statement question
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mark >> i just did post up >> oh. i will assume that it is planned. >> today, we are handling the judicial hearing and we will consider a total of 58 judicial nominees and is the fourth nomination hearing in four weeks all stop anybody who says that republicans are engaging of -- in unnecessary obstruction are ignoring the actions that i am doing with the chairman. compare the records to the hearings this year with the way resident bush was treated in a fifth year of his presidency in 2005. the final hearing was held on november the 15th. .hat was only the sixth hearing during those six earrings, we not 58rom 58 --
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nominees. only circuit nominees. 2012 wasing this year? a productive year for judicial onenations and in the hundred 12 congress, president obama had more district judges confirmed that any of the previous eight congresses. hearings for 41 judicial nominees. in addition, i would like to have everybody be reminded that we have now confirmed 30 more article three nominees this year and that is more than 2.5 the number confirmed during the second term of president bush. only 14 nominees were confirmed stop in total, the senate has confirmed 209 article three judges. this is a significant number of women. we could have confirmed more judges over the last couple of weeks. takeenate majority decided
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four times to have a diversionary political exercise. as i explained earlier this week , the other side has been working diligently to make the crisis in the d c circuit to support their claim that the republicans are of strutting will stop the other side is doing sleight-of-hand on the data. recently, my colleague stated that the filibuster had been used 44 times against obama's nominees. if you pay attention, you would know that republicans have filibustered a handful of nominees. what are the facts? how does the other side did 234 -- how did the other side get to 34. -- 34? there are 17 cloture petitions required the petition was
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withdrawn in every single one of these nominees. part of just another manufacturing a crisis. that leaves us 17 of the 34. republicans have not filibustered anywhere close to 70 nominees. is that 16ory cloture petitions were withdrawn and that leaves only 11 nominees will stop one of these nominees had to cloture votes. the 11 11six of nominees were confirmed. five nominees have failed to achieve cloture votes. to sum up the majority claims this week. that was great fanfare republicans had stopped five nominees and three are still in the senate.
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only two nominees have been defeated by filibuster. isuppose that is what one supposed to do. overstate the record. this administration says that it is worse than the bush and administration. senate democrats are unprecedented in their use of cloture against judicial 30inees when they forced cloture votes on judicial nominees. these are of factual record. at 30sh administration cloture votes and there have been 12 cloture votes in the obama administration. president bush's nominees had senate democrats obstruct them 20 times. 20 failed cloture motions. the senate cuts continue to obstruct the judicial nominees. i think it is clear which party holds the record on delaying or shutting operations for the fromr of cloture votes
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senate democrats on president bush's nominees. his 2.5 the number times of cloture vote.
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international event for 50 minutes.
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>> john was hinting at the origin of this report. it went up on the website last week. i am not going to go through it because i think you can read it, but i want to point out how the things came about and where it takes us. as john said, what was fascinating, as we looked at 26 reports since 9/11 dealing with the middle east, how amazing it was that how few of them had been spoken to the officers in the field. in the sense of we have a lot of advice coming, that the best they can come up with is give public diplomacy more money. money does not solve all the problems. and so that was one of the incentives for doing this. what goes on over there? how does it work? i've been associated with public diplomacy and spent the past 10 years working in that region. the arab middle east, pakistan, afghanistan, and if you look at the officers in that region to come up with suggestions,
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challenges, what faces us out there, i stayed away from policy because that is the white house's prerogative, to what do we do overseas when we get there? i have taken in a lot from what i have seen, but everything i put in this report is mine, not the state department's report. i can do some independent thinking. that was important through that clearance process to make sure that i speak in my voice and nobody else's. something else that was interesting coming out of this is defining what public diplomacy is. there has been talk about this since 9/11, but basically -- and there has been a lot of reporting -- but to define what it is, and one thing that was striking, one thing that came out in the report is we hear about messaging. washington, are you messaging? are you getting this message right? public diplomacy is larger than
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that. messaging is something we do in the press, the public diplomacy is a panoply of programs and platforms that we use to engage the audience is out there, to make them more accepted to american foreign policy. what we spend our money on, the projects going on overseas, and a person who was always pointing out, he repeats this so often, i can save, it is the sum of these two things. adam is no longer what the state department, so i can mention that. it is true, we probably spend 3/4 of our money spending on fulbright, international visitors, targeting those people that can make a difference in the opinion landscape. that is the way you can target certain people who are very important, and the shotgun effect when we use the media to reach broader audience.
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in washington that was not was fully understood and i wanted to put that in the report, that it is not just messaging, not just how you engage in audiences, how you make them see what you are doing and show them we have a point of view that is respectable. i think it is important if you look at the cover of the report, if you see who is on there, it is not a spokesman on there. that is an english-teaching officer, someone in pakistan with me. he stood for that other side of public diplomacy that is not often reported, but english teaching is something we use effectively out there, the target it to certain audience we think are more at risk, but it is a way we get out our word to a to for an audience and give them a broader sense of what is going on in the world, and maybe they will be able to inform other people what is going on as well as getting ahead in their
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own lives because english is such added advantage. it was important to have that on the cover and not a spokesman at a podium. i would like to say to wrap of why the report -- there's something else that motivates to love us. officers in the field are very patriotic. so many of us feel really strongly about what we are doing, but nobody had really looked at what we were and what we were doing. this is a reported where i wanted to say here is how we see what is going on overseas. here is how we think it should be implemented. this is how we will take something that comes from the white house and shape it for the audiences out there. the heroes of my report are that public diplomacy ocean in the state department, the ones charged with leading the diplomacy efforts worldwide. i wanted to tell their story and get out what goes on.
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that is why i took what i've got here, i spoke to public diplomacy officers, and this is a summation of this. i wanted to get that story from what was going on, because the heroes here are of my colleagues in the state department that are overseas, working difficult environments, engaging audiences, making them more receptive to our policy initiatives. if you look at the report itself, and i do not want to go through it all, but i think i have not engaged in policy structure because that is what the white house does. i tried to give a how-to outline of how we do overseas, the challenges and opportunities we have. to highlight a couple of them, more than a couple, but one thing i think it's interesting is when we approach societies, i divided the report, in telling america's story versus engaging attitudes in a country.
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people are unclear what we put an emphasis on, and what i have said is every country will be different, and that is why that ties in the field are so important, because they can help us work through. anyone should weigh up, what are we trying to do here? do we want to take people overseas who might turn violent and say they do not take that route, but that they do not go the violent route. in this part of the world, after 9/11 it is a question we have to ask. every country is different. every one of them will have a different percentage assigned to one side or the other. i wanted to highlight it very much, and not everybody understands we have these wall functions out there. i also felt and i mentioned in the report that we need a third office, and we created what in pakistan to engage in changing attitudes and behaviors, if her
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from press or cultural affairs work. it was important to vote out there that there are a number of different ways to approach these questions. in places like pakistan and afghanistan, we have so much money given to us to do public diplomacy we have the lecture of being able to create anything we want. even officers without resources can do a lot to change things. another point i brought across is the diverse as he of audiences. one thing is you hear people say that muslims or something like that. there are many different audiences and many effort types of muslims believing a lot of different things. people need to become attuned to that right away and understand certain communities believe what they, another community believes another. in washington people do not understand those differences. it is understand that it is interesting to understand who is
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more susceptible to a message, who do we have to work harder with, who is important, who is not, but diversity out there is incredible. it ties in with the need to speak to these people in the languages they speak. in india it is funny, i bring this up, do you ever see two indians speaking english to each other? unless they have an english language listener, they will speak hindi to each other. in the middle east, once they engage in each other, they need to be speaking those languages. we need to be there in those languages. it is where you have to listen to them to what they say, not rely on english. those english language newspapers out there, i remember in pakistan i was speaking to an editor, i said, can you tell what is this about? they said, these are for you, the foreigners. this is not something that pakistanis used to communica